CBD, or Cannabidiol is as complex as it is popular. But with that popularity comes a lot of misconceptions. Here at CBD COP, we’re on a mission to make sure those misconceptions don’t affect your decision to try, or not try CBD. But more, we’re intent on making sure the CBD products you do buy are top quality and can get you the benefits that they’re claiming. Today, in this expansive article about CBD we’ll be covering a lot of material; from how cbd is made, to what it’s used for, to ongoing studies on the benefits of CBD. Along the way, we’ll also outline the purpose of our website, as well as things we like to target in our reviews.
What is CBD?
CBD, or Cannabidiol, is an oil found in the hemp plant. It’s one of 113+ known cannabinoids found in cannabis plants. According to one study by the Philosophical Transactions B, the CBD content of Cannabis sativa extract can account for “up to 40 per cent of its extract.” But what separates CBD from the numerous other cannabinoids found in cannabis? There are a number of things.
What are cannabinoids?
Cannabinoids are an overarching class of phsychoactive compounds that can alter the release of chemicals in the brain. In layman’s terms, they act on the chemistry of your brain to release feel good hormones or other substances. The most well-known cannabinoid is commonly referred to as THC, or tetrahydrocannabinol. It’s responsible for the high that users receive when using marijuana.
In addition to naturally occurring cannabinoids, there are a number of artificially created cannabinoids. These range from “nonclassical cannabinoids…to eicosanoids.” While we’ll admit that we’re out of our element in these artificially created cannabinoids, there is some indication that they’re useful for pharmacological applications. They also have a darker side, as shown by prominent use of synthetic marijuana, or “spice”.
Common cannabinoids found in marijuana
We covered this one briefly above, but tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC is the psychoactive cannabinoid that makes marijuana one of the most used drugs on the planet. It works by interacting with the cannabinoid receptors in the brain, which then trigger a release of dopamine. This dopamine provides the feel-good element of this cannabinoid, while other interactions provide the other, varying feeling and behavior changes.
This cannabinoid is basically THC, but a form of it that occurs via degradation. In a freshly harvested plant, there is little cannabinol. But as it accrues oxidative and photo damage, it degrades into this cannabinoid.
While largely considered non-psychoactive, Cannabigerol (CBG) is an active component in engaging certain receptors in the brain, including the “α2-adrenergic receptor agonist, 5-HT1A receptor antagonist, CB1 and CB2 receptor”. It is currently under research as a therapeutic agent.
This is the one we’re all here for. Cannabidiol is a non-psychoactive cannabinoid that is currently the runaway favorite research target. It’s known to affect creatin receptors, like the CB1 and CB2 receptors, as wel as the GPR55 and 5-HT1A receptor. There is also information that it may affect the μ- and δ-opioid receptors, too. We’ll be talking a lot more about CBD in this article, so for now we’ll leave it where it is.
As you can see, CBD is only one of the common cannabinoids found in marijuana extract. But in terms of overall popularity, it seems to be second only to THC. Or, depending on which circle you’re in, first in terms of medical research. So why is CBD so popular? Let’s take a look.
Why is CBD so popular?
We think the biggest reason that people get drawn into using CBD is that it’s advertised as this wonder drug. People see it as a legal alternative to medical marijuana. It’s one, that in their eyes has all the benefits, but none of the drawbacks of traditional mary-jane use. Plus, having that high can mean that a lot of things we typically do in life, like picking up kids or running errands would be off the table. So if we had to point at two things that made CBD so popular, it would be the growing trend of acceptance for marijuana and marijuana products. Then the second would be a group of people that want to be at the leading edge of trends in natural health products.
We think the second one is a big push, and one we can’t fully explain with cbd. CBD doesn’t seem to have the stigma associated with it that medical cannabis or marijuana has. Because of that, we’re seeing relatively conservative sections of the community participating in the cbd culture alongside the more stereotypical marijuana sets. But we also think there is a big push back against big pharma, and that shows in the surge in popularity for not only cbd, but other natural products as well.
Aside from those two reasons, there’s also the argument that therapeutic CBD use is grounded in fact-based studies that establish a true reasoning for using the substance. And, we think, that goes beyond just the safety aspects and into true therapeutic valuation. While we’re not going to dive into studies quite yet, there is a big indication that CBD may be useful for a variety of issues.
So why is CBD so popular? Because it checks all the requisite boxes for a lot of people, and it has continued excitement based on continued scientific study.
Are there therapeutic benefits for CBD?
There are plenty of anecdotal, and implied benefits that marketers claim when talking about cbd and cbd oil products. But for a lot of these claims, there’s either; 1. Not enough evidence out there, or 2. Promising, but non-definitive evidence. While we want to stay clear of saying that CBD is going to help in these claimed areas, we feel like it’s better to address all the claims made by CBD marketing companies, and why they’re happening in the first place. But before we get into that, let’s think about why CBD Oil is marketed as this veritable super cure.
1. It’s not regulated like a drug
Drug manufacturers are required, by law, to give factual evidence about the product they’re selling. But it goes beyond that. They’re also required to give information about potential side effects, as well as limit their language in terms of benefits. But when these products aren’t FDA regulated, they can get a lot more slippery with their claims. So when you see claims on a cbd product, and it says something like “any claims, real or implied, have not been evaluated by the FDA”, you know that they’re covering their butts in case those claims aren’t real, or are misleading. But the truth is, those constraints are valuable to consumers because they prevent people from being mislead.
2. There is a lot of evidence that it may be
While we can’t sit here and say that CBD is going to be something that changes your world, there is a lot of hype around cbd. That’s because there is a lot of research around the product that gives a cumulative hope that it’s something special. We’ll look at some of these individual studies a bit later, but there is hope that CBD will be beneficial for a lot of disorders, and potentially for some diseases.
3. The culture is changing
As the boomers are getting older, and their joints are getting stiffer, they’re looking for things that might help them along the way. Unfortunately for them, the stigma that has been built up around marijuana has kept the laws from changing to reflect the current research into the therapeutic effects of marijuana. That stigma also has the effect that makes cannabis an uncomfortable choice for many people, even where it’s legal. But those same people who are afraid of the high, or of becoming addicted are still attracted to the potential benefits. So when they see something that might have the same benefits, but doesn’t carry the societal implications that cannabis proper does, they’re willing to give it a shot. It’s also a big reason that you see CBD advertised as a “cure” for common issues that boomers are experiencing right now, like arthritis, cancer, chronic pain, etc.
People around the world are fed up with the healthcare status quo. For a lot of them, that means looking for alternative solutions to common problems. While we don’t encourage people to give up on current meds to try CBD, there are plenty of people doing just that (for better or worse). A quick look on google shows that demand for CBD and CBD oil products is at a record high, and only projected to get better. Until we see that demand go down, we expect to see more and more CBD products. As an unwanted side effect, this demand has spawned a series of companies that claim CBD does more than it actually does in order to capitalize on the product.
As you can see, there are a variety of reasons that CBD is getting marketed in an over the top way. But in addition to this, there are plenty of companies that are gaming the system in another way.
Authentic, and inauthentic CBD Products
With little FDA oversight, there comes a big problem for consumers of CBD. The chief concern being that consumers are getting products that aren’t actually CBD oil, or contain far less than advertised. In fact, there was a scare recently that involved a smoke shop selling CBD that was actually a “spice-like” substance. While it’s harder to come by more regulated cbd products, and they’re not required to go through the same measures as pharmaceutical products, there is a heavy push to self-regulate.
But the FDA is aware of CBD, and because of that, it doesn’t allow it to be sold as dietary supplements. While we’re not lawyers, the FDA does say that CBD products are excluded from the category “…under sections 201(ff)(3)(B)(i) and (ii) of the FD&C Act.”
In addition, the regulatory agency is quick to point out companies and products that try to claim benefits that aren’t grounded in scientific reality. In November, 2017, the FDA released this press notice that companies were advertising products that claimed to prevent or treat cancers. We want to reiterate here that none of the products we cover (positively) will ever make this claim. It’s not true, and even if it did, we wouldn’t say that unless we were 100% sure it worked for everybody every time. What we can point to in cases like this are the studies that show promise in this area, and studies that contradict those studies. That can provide people a more nuanced and realistic view of what CBD oil can actually do for people.
After saying that, it’s also important to note that if you want to introduce CBD in your lifestyle, then it’s best to do it under the direction of a qualified health professional. They can help to determine whether or not you’re likely to experience any benefits, side effects, or potential interactions. But that brings us to our next point.
CBD Safety: an ongoing look at the safety of CBD oil
This is one of the strongest areas in CBD research. CBD has been exhaustively studied for its effects on health in humans, and for the most part, those studies have returned conclusive results that it is safe. As with anything in the scientific community, however, there are caveats.
1. In order for CBD to be safe, it needs to be…CBD
Like we said in the section above, if you’ve looked around the market for CBD Oil, chances are you’ve seen a handful of products that made you question their authenticity. Chances are, those are the products the FDA is warning you about. CBD products that don’t provide sources for their testing, or ingredient labels are ones you should avoid at all costs. Additionally, if you see products that sound to good to be true, they probably are. We keep an eye out for cbd products that talk a big game, or that don’t provide any documentation for their product. If they do, we still look closely at what’s going on in their testing to make sure everybody (read EVERYBODY) is getting the same high quality product.
2. CBD Can Have Interactions
Because of the way CBD interacts with your body, there is always the potential for interactions with certain medicines or conditions. That’s why it’s imperative you’re talking with your Doctor, Pharmacist, or Certified Dietician to make sure you’re, one getting a legitimate product, and two, a safe, tested one that won’t give you issues. If you want some in-depth info about the toxicology, pharmacokinetics, or pharmacodynamics of CBD, this brief from the World Health Organization is a great resource.
3. Low Quality Control Standards Can Cause Problems
While this is, in essence, included in the first entry up top, it deserves its own entry. Because CBD oil isn’t regulated in the way that other supplement ingredients are, it gives room for low quality, or contaminated CBD products to make their way onto the market. Because of this, it’s extra important for consumers to seek out companies that take quality control seriously.
CBD and Pets: Why is this a thing?
While there are plenty of studies out there with humans using CBD products, there’s an interesting commercial development that we’re seeing that doesn’t have those rigorous studies backing it up. CBD for pets. It’s hard to believe, but considering how many health products are getting targeted at pets these days, is it really that surprising? There are a variety of areas that these marketers are trying to target with pets; let’s take a closer look.
These are thought to help calm your dog down, and “relieve anxieties”. They exist solely on an unestablished, popular benefit of CBD, that it calms users down after use. As to how effective these are for animals, we can only guess. We know they’re popular, but we don’t know if they’re safe or if they work as advertised.
Health Supplement Treats:
There’s another market that manufacturers are targeting that relies on vague, unsubstantiated benefits for overall health. Some say that they’re boosting immune health, but don’t go far beyond that.
Pain Relief For Pets:
There’s another market that we’ve been seeing for pets in general, and it’s centered around pain relief. Companies like this claim that it’s beneficial for inflammation, pain and other issues. Depending on the company, they’re quick to point out that these claims aren’t substantiated.
Longevity For Pets:
We’ve seen this one around as well. We see CBD promoted as an end-of-life supplement for pets, and as a way to “increase longevity”. Again, we don’t have much faith in these claims, but it’s something we’re seeing.
So what should you make of CBD Pet Products?
Honestly, we don’t advise that anybody use these products unless they’re up against a wall. If CBD for humans isn’t regulated, then imagine what the regulations are for animals? This is the same industry that puts meat and grain by-products into their foods. If you want to be safe, avoid using these altogether. If you insist on using these for your loved companion, be very careful, and consider talking with your vet before use. If you decide against all those things, maybe it’s wise that you’re using something that you would use yourself, and not a “pet version”.
Honestly, the big push should be to find a product that is highly-regulated and as proven as possible for the reasoning that you’re picking it up. If you can’t justify it with either of those two, or preferably both, don’t do it.
What does CBD do?
Now’s the part where we go from things based in fact, to things based in speculation. Before you read this next section, keep in mind that a lot of the claims you see in advertisements are based on preliminary, or phase 1 or 2 studies. After we go over the claims of benefit that we see, we’ll move onto the studies that are the basis for those claims (if they exist). Again, these are claims we’re seeing, not facts.
CBD Relieves Anxiety
This might be the most common claim we see in CBD products. CBD, while non-psychoactive in the way THC is, is said to carry the same anti-anxiety effects. So we see advertisement after advertisement that says that CBD does things to help curb problems with anxiety, or even promote an overall sense of calmness. But in substantiating these claims, we see a lot of difficult. In the next section, we’ll look at studies that these claims are based on, and see where the science is at in discovering if this is truly the case. And, if it is the case, if it’s going to be the case for all, most, or just some of the people using it for this reason. Before we look at the studies, keep in mind that we’re going to group them into three different stages. But let’s take a minute to go over the study stages so you can make a bit more sense of it.
The Stages of Clinical Study: And why they’re important for evaluating potential benefits.
In the world of academic research, it’s important to categorize efforts in order to make sense of them. Essentially, the community puts out thousands upon thousands of studies on different techniques, ingredients, approaches, etc., The purpose of these studies isn’t to say that this is going to work, absolutely. The purpose is to see if there’s enough evidence to warrant further research. That’s why when we see people citing these early, essentially “feeler” studies, we cringe. They’re never meant to establish the kind of causality that more in-depth studies do, so even citing them as evidence of promise can be misleading.
One of the biggest areas where we see this happening with CBD with the various claims of benefit. Advertisers will see a Phase 1 study of CBD where the study says the results are promising, but the subject needs further study, and they’ll only say that the results are promising. Then other advertisers will look at their language and copy it and make it more effective in a sales kind of way, and bam, you have something completely disingenuous to the original thought of the study.
Let’s look at the Phases of Clinical Research;
This phase of clinical research involves short study durations, and limited study participant numbers. Typical studies include 20-100 people that don’t necessarily have a disease that the product is trying to treat. These studies are used to measure safety and dosage. If they’re largely safe in the dosages studied, they’ll move onto the next phase of testing. According to the FDA, around “70% of drugs move to the next phase.” It’s also important to note here that there is a difference between drug testing, and testing of novel ingredients. However, they do follow the same basic principles.
After phase 1, tests move onto phase 2. In phase two studys, participants go up significantly, and focus directly on people that have a disease or condition that the drug is trying to treat. In this phase of testing, they’re looking for how well the drug works in treating the condition/disease, and also monitoring for potential side effects. The success rate of this phase speaks to the difficulty in researching even promising drugs and ingredients, as only 33% move onto phase 3 of research and testing. It also takes a big time commitment, as the phase can last anywhere from a few months, to a few years.
After drugs have successfully made it through phase 2, they move onto phase 3 of clinical testing. The drugs are studied in the long term, with much larger sample sizes. Participant counts range from 300-3000 people, all of which have the disease or condition. They’re much more difficult to study, and require a large commitment of time, money, and expertise. Unfortunately for drug manufacturers, a lot of the drugs featured here are doomed to fail. After they’re monitored for efficacy and adverse reactions, only 25-30% of the drugs make it through to the next level.
You’re probably sensing a theme here. The sample sizes for phase 4 drug trials are much larger, and include thousands of volunteers that have the given disease/condition that the drug is trying to treat. In terms of length for Phase 4 clinical trials, they can range. But considering the larger sample sizes, they can take longer to get information back and in order. The studies obviously take longer to set up as well, so that can affect how long they’re in this phase. Once a drug is analyzed through phase 4 results, they’re either approved by the FDA, or sent back for further study.
So when you consider the relative (popular) infancy of CBD as a therapeutic agency, it’s no surprise that many of the studies that manufacturers and advertisers cite are borne out of early studies. That’s why it’s so important to take these cited studies with a healthy grain of salt.
If this all seems like a lot to take in, that’s because it is. We feel like things would be a lot easier if CBD oil products were forced to go through these studies, but because of the stigma, and attachment to marijuana on the whole, there’s another set of issues that get in the way.
Now that we have that out of the way, we feel like all our readers are qualified to look at and critique the sometimes dense language found in these studies. Let’s take a look at an example study cited by a CBD oil company.
In this study published in the Journal of Psychopharmacology, researchers found that the sample size experienced reduced anxiety and reduced anxiety from seasonal affective disorder. But it’s also important to note that this study was only done with 10 people. That’s a very small sample size, even for phase 1 clinical trials. That means that it’s squarely, 100% a feeler trial. And while it showed promising results for the people in the trial, there’s a chance that in another month or year of study, they would find that those benefits aren’t substantive.
That’s not to say that they’re guaranteed to be false. It’s just that it’s so limited in scope and breadth, that there’s significant change that it won’t be as good as the brief states.
In looking further at this trial data, we found several other, newer clinical trials citing this trial as a data point. This speaks to the nature of feeler trials. You could have an ingredient that shows promise in one area spawn hundreds of new level 1 clinical trials, only a handful of which may come out positively.
We wanted to focus on this as a case study in how advertisers and marketers can essentially mislead customers by citing trials that neither the advertiser or the potential customer understand. We’re not sure if it’s a lack of knowledge in the area, or an effort to capitalize on the relative ignorance of consumers. Whatever the reasoning, whenever we look at a supporting trial, we’ll analyze it to make sure there is sufficient evidence to support the claim.
So does CBD have anti-anxiety effects?
In the studies we’ve seen so far, it’s possible. But most of the recent studies are essentially asking for further funding, and increase in study scope. In one 2015 study published in Neurotherapeutics, the researchers were quick to say the same.
“Overall, current evidence indicates CBD has considerable potential as a treatment for multiple anxiety disorders, with need for further study of chronic and therapeutic effects in relevant clinical populations.” https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26341731
You can see they’re trying to make readers of this study brief focus on that part. It’s promising, but they don’t know enough to say it’s going to work for everybody.
CBD and Cancer
Before we get started here, we want to be very clear about this. If you have cancer, don’t try to treat it yourself. You need a doctor’s help, end of story.
That said, there is plenty of interesting research going on with the relationship of cancer and cbd use. In a study done this year (2018), researchers found that there is a promising link between CBD use and “estrogen-dependent endometrial carcinoma”. But they’re also quick to add that this is only evidence useful for warranting further study of this connection, nothing more.
So it’s extremely troubling when we see great, groundbreaking studies like these that show promise and intrigue for cbd use, and then see them used inappropriately by advertisers, manufacturers and other parties. If you see a company that is advertising CBD as a potential cure for cancer, report them. It’s really as simple as that. It’s far to early for anybody to say that CBD does anything substantive for specific cancers, let alone cancer as a whole category of disease.
When you see a company citing a study like this as proof of that claim, or as a show of “promise”, remember that it’s highly likely that this connection won’t last all the way through the phases of research required by the FDA. It’s statistically unlikely that it will make it, and it’s always important to keep that in mind.
CBD and Pain/Inflammation
There’s one article online that drives us absolutely crazy. It’s a list of “proven” benefits of CBD, and is one of the laziest piece of crap articles on the internet. It’s no wonder why people are so miseducated about CBD when these supposed “trustworthy sources” are the ones relaying the information. The essence of their article is that they say that cbd is proven to relieve pain and inflammation, which it’s not. They try to recover by saying it’s suggested that it might be effective according to a study, which again, the study doesn’t say.
In fact, the study they cite is on rat spinal cord slices, which would typically serve as a precursor to a human trial on the subject. We’re not even talking level 1 clinical trials here. The entire article is nothing more than these lazy claims, “substantiated” by linking to these study briefs.
The real story behind CBD and Pain is much more complicated. Sure, there is evidence that it may be helpful, but again, it’s early in the clinical testing. Additionally, a lot of the studies are looking at novel blends of THC and CBD, not just one or the other. That makes it hard to nail down whether one works on its own, or it’s the combination of the two causing the effect.
One study from this year we like to point to as an example is the study done for the Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research firm. This should be enough to tip you off that the study won’t really be worth much in terms of good information. That is further confirmed by the author disclosure statement, which shows that people who developed the study have ties to a company that develops phytotherapeutics for pain and inflammation.
But that’s the thing, we’re able to look at this study and know there’s an apparent conflict of interest, and immediately go into it with a caveat in mind. But for people who aren’t used to looking at studies, and they see a place link to a study like this, they think it’s just as good as any other study. Furthermore, they think that it’s representative of reality of the ingredient, when it’s obviously not.
So, does CBD cause pain relief?
It might, it might not. That’s the best we can do for you. Our advice is to keep an eye out for more advanced studies into this connection, and don’t rely on introductory studies, or ones that are attached to certain groups like this one.
CBD Antipsychotic Effects
While you don’t see this one advertised as much, you also have a much smaller population out there looking for all-natural antipsychotics. Or, at least we imagine so. If there were a bunch of self-treating psychotic people, we would be a lot less likely to go outside. Sorry to reinforce the stigma.
But CBD is often claimed to subdue or otherwise decrease these antipsychotic effects. Let’s look at the evidence these claims are based on, and see if there’s any truth we can base those claims on.
In one study done for the publication Frontiers in Pharmacology, Researchers looked critically at “Cannabidiol as a Potential New Type of an Antipsychotic”. In this study, they looked at how CBD impacted a variety of behavioral issues in known studies, then made a suggestion on those findings. According to them, there is enough promise in the connection between CBD and decreased psychotic effects to warrant further study. They recommended that researchers further pursue clinical trials in order a. substantiate current findings and b. look into the long-term efficacy and c. take a closer look at safety.
That sounds promising, right? It’s a recent study, and one that looks at a variety of other studies. It’s also by a good journal, and doesn’t include any claimed conflicts of interested other than FML being a shareholder of “curantic UG (ltd).
But, again, making any kind of claim that CBD can do this, or that is premature. Advertisers see these studies and decide that there’s enough evidence to make a claim of benefit, when the scientists are clearly saying that there needs to be more research done into this before they can start popping bottles of champagne.
CBD Oil and Nausea
You’ll notice a theme here, a lot of the claims we’re looking at are ones that are also claimed by medical marijuana advocates. It stands to reason, of course. CBD is a cannabinoid that’s very similar to THC, and is included in smaller amounts in medical marijuana. So getting to the source of what’s causing what, or if it’s a holistic thing can prove to be valuable.
But have researchers established a viable causality between CBD oil and decreased nausea? Because we see it advertised a lot. The studies seem to show that it’s currently in clinical trials.
The evolution of these ideas seems to start with a pre-clinical trial published in 2012. In this study on rats, they found promising results that CBD Oil can help prevent nausea and emesis (vomiting) brought on by certain triggers.
Researchers revisited this study in 2015, hoping to drive a proper clinical study. But it seems that this research either hasn’t happened yet, or is currently in works and not published.
So what can we take away from this mess? Basically that there was pre-clinical promise, but there doesn’t seem to be human trial data available yet.
That means if you see an advertisement claiming that their CBD oil cures or helps nausea, they’re probably basing it off this pre-clinical study and the resulting studies on that study.
CBD and Diabetes
Here’s another one we see advertised a lot both in product advertisements, and articles like the one we talked about earlier. But is there a true connection between CBD use and diabetes?
There are studies that, at the surface, point to benefits in diabetic processes, like aldose reductase inhibition. But upon closer inspection, these studies are almost brand new, and are in pre-clinical stages.
One study we see cited fairly often is actually done in vitro. For those of us who don’t know what that is; in vitro means studying something outside of normal conditions. In this case, isolated cells from an organism. In this study specifically, they’re looking at “human recombinant and pig kidney aldose reductase activity in vitro”. But trying to translate those findings to being beneficial for humans directly is pure conjecture. Given how new that first study is, it’s highly likely that this connection is probably yet to be established via human study. That said, it might turn out that there is a connection, we just don’t know enough to say right now.
So if you’re planning on CBD being an alternative to insulin, or something far-fetched like that, don’t. Work with your doctor, and if you feel like it’s worth it to try CBD, be sure to do it under supervision so you can see if you’re wasting your money or not.
Cardiovascular health is close to the heart for a lot of people around the world. So when they see advertisements for CBD that say it may help with certain cardiovascular issues, it seems too good to be true. But is it? In looking at studies done on the connection between cardiovascular health and CBD oil, we found that most of the studies were pre-clinical.
The list of studies referenced on the supposed #1 cbd resource site were entirely done on rats and mice, without any outside indication of that fact. If you weren’t reading the studies closely, then you would probably miss that fact.
But saying that is very pessimistic about the possibilities, of course. These early, pre-clinical studies did show some potential benefits for heart disease, and have clearly shown the need for more in-depth, rigorous research.
And, that has been the case. In a study done last year, we found researchers looking at the effects of cbd on human blood pressure. It’s a Category 1 Clinical Study, meaning it’s still in the early stages. But it’s promising to see it at least moved into human testing. As this study was done in 2017, and showed promise, we imagine there are several ongoing studies as to whether or not CBD can be a viable technique for improving common cardiovascular issues.
CBD Benefits: Final Thoughts
Honestly, there’s a lot to be excited about with CBD. It has the potential to change a lot of lives. But it’s also important to hedge that optimism with a serious dose of doubt. With how young CBD is in clinical research, there’s a lot that still needs to be studied before anything definitive can be said. At worst, CBD is something that doesn’t do much, but isn’t necessarily dangerous if used as directly. At best, it might be able to help with a variety of conditions.
The wise choice is to give it time. If you want to try it as a natural medicine, know that the science isn’t there to back it up yet. That’s why we constantly advise people here at CBD COP to work with their doctors before using CBD, for any reason.
If you’re thinking about using it on your pets, then that’s a whole different story. Talk with your vet before you even think about buying a cbd product for your furry little loved one.
Fantastic CBD Products (and where to find them)
We’ve spent so long going over our the potential cbd oil benefits, that we’ve neglected to talk about consumer cbd products. In this section, we’ll go over some of the most common CBD product genres, how to pick out the right cbd product. We’ll also go over the best places to buy cbd, and places to avoid. We have a lot to cover in our analysis of CBD products, so let’s jump right in.
CBD Products are only limited to the imagination. After all, the oil is relatively neutral tasting. It makes sense that it would be incorporated into a variety of forms. Just look at THC products, it’s the same concept. You have cannabis, the wide ranging world of edibles, etc. The list is a long one. So it stands to reason that CBD would borrow and use some of those same tactics.
So when we see CBD marketed as a straight oil, it’s only a fraction of the potential for products. Let’s look at the most popular CBD oil products.
This is by far the most popular form of CBD available for use. It’s typically comes in a dropper bottle, but can range in size depending on the source. It’s considered the “purest” form of cbd, because it’s essentially a direct oil extract.
CBD Oil Prices
This one can be tough to nail down. On the high end, CBD oil can be above $100 for under 4 ounces. Or, at the lower end, you can get CBD oil for under $25/gallon. As to what sets that price, companies usually say that it’s a matter of quality, or extraction technique.
The Good, The Bad
Here’s where things get hard. If you’re looking for a pure, dedicated cannabidiol supplement, you’ll be hard pressed to find one. Most commercially available CBD oils are really hemp oils, with the normal amount of CBD in them.
Keeping that in mind, we have a few things we look out for when we’re searching for the best CBD oils.
1. Is it a reputable company?
This is the first thing we look at. We look at the company, see if they have an address (you wouldn’t believe the amount of fly-by-night shops we see pop up and disappear in a matter of days). We also look for a diverse range of products. While there’s nothing wrong with focusing on a specific product type, most low-quality oils launch only a single product and market the crap out of it. Then when the backlash catches up with them, they close up shop and rebrand.
2. Do they have production information?
This is another big consideration we look at when evaluating cbd oils. We want to see that the oil is tested regularly, and see insight into how the oil is extracted. Additionally, we like to see nutritional profiles for the oil itself, as well as measurements of specific cannabinoids.
This one can be tough to keep in control. But depending on the quality, or cannabinoid profile you’re after, there are certain unavoidable price points. That said, there are a number of affordable options if you want to get your feet wet. In terms of how we rate price, it’s largely taking the above considerations into account and assigning a value to it. Does the quality match the price, essentially.
4. Marketing Material
While this one can be tricky for the average person to assess, for people like us who have seen hundreds upon hundreds of cbd products, the marketing material can provide valuable clues as to the quality and reliability of the product. As we detailed above in our claims and studies section, there are a lot of products that really lean into their marketing without the studies to back up those claims.
Seeing those kind of claims on the marketing page for a product can tell you a lot about the quality to expect. If you see outlandish claims, steer clear. If they’re willing to cut corners in the honesty in marketing department, it stands to reason that they’re willing to cut corners in other areas too.
If you’re looking for a good, comprehensive list of the best CBD oils available, we have a great article for you to check out here at CBD COP. You can click the link here to head there now.
Aside from the potable CBD oil, there are a lot of products that incorporate CBD into an edible form. The benefit of these readily edible forms is that you don’t need to mess with oil to get your CBD. But there are a lot more things you need to consider when you want to buy cbd edibles. Here’s our list of criteria.
1. How much CBD is in it?
A lot of the CBD edibles we look at don’t have clear indications of how much cbd or hemp oil are contained in the product. As an example, one product we looked at called “Chill Gummies” had marketing that made it look like there was 100x CBD content in the gummies. But looking for those amounts only resulted in an ingredient list. Only after we looked at their lab reports did we see the CBD by weight, which was present at .03 % of the total weight. And, for a lot of the companies that are putting out these studies, they don’t often represent the products accurately.
2. Does the product/company look legitimate?
This might seem like a no-brainer. But if you’re buying a product, you want to make sure it looks like it’s professionally made. While you’ll definitely run into the occasional product that looks great, but isn’t, for the most part, CBD product packaging is fairly indicative of the quality. At the basic level, if it makes you suspicious, check out the company. How long has it been around, is it reputable, etc.
Depending on what you’re looking for, price can range very dramatically for CBD edibles. Just like at a legal marijuana store, more premium products will be more expensive. While shoddily made ones will occupy the lower price points. If you see one that’s too cheap to believe, do some research. Same with the higher price points. You know what? Just do the research before you buy anyway.
If you keep those ideas in the back of your head before you buy, we think you’ll be off to a good start. But the best advice we’ll ever give you at this site is to talk with your doctor or nutritional adviser about it. They’re professionals, and have access to knowledge and data that we don’t.
Other CBD Products
There are a ton of other CBD product categories that we want to cover. They’re much more than just consumables, CBD is also incorporated into creams, serums, balms, powders, sprays, and even vape oils. We’re not going to say the same thing over and over again, so suffice it so say that if you use the above ideas to evaluate your purchases, you should be in good shape. Let’s look at a few of the cbd product types we were talking about.
- CBD Oil Skin Creams – These topical creams incorporate hemp oil and CBD into moisturizing creams designed to improve skin health. As to whether or not they’re actually helping or hurting your skin is up for debate. If you want to read our breakdown on CBD Skin Creams, be sure to check out our article here for more.
- CBD Vape Oil – One of the more popular methods of using CBD is with Vape Oil. The cbd vape oil is vaporized by a heating coil and is absorbed into the lungs. While simple in theory, there are concerns that vape oil isn’t properly regulated and could cause potential health issues. If you want to learn more, be sure to read our giant article on the best and worst cbd vape oils out there.
- CBD Tinctures – These tinctures, or mixtures, combine different ingredients into a veritable concoction. While tinctures can be the right fit for some people, depending on their needs, they can also carry the risk of having additional, unwanted ingredients. If you’re considering using cbd tinctures, be sure to read our guide here.
- CBD Sprays – These sprays are essentially the same idea as the oil, just used in a spray format. It makes it easier to apply topically to the hair or skin, and still allows users to apply lingually. If you want to learn more about the exciting world of cbd tinctures, be sure to check out our review of the best cbd tinctures.
- CBD Capsules – We all like the freedom to take a pill and be done with it. We’ve seen more and more CBD pills hitting the market lately, and that’s because they offer a convenience that other cbd product types don’t. Want to see what’s out there? Check out our master article on CBD Supplements and Pills here.
CBD OIL – FINAL THOUGHTS
If you’ve made it this far into our review of CBD oils, then you’ll be happy to know that you’re now more educated than 90% of people who try CBD oil. But this is just the start. If you want to continue your journey into CBD oil, check out our resources for further reading. Additionally, we have a ton of articles here on site that can help you decide on the right product if you want to buy.
Remember, if you see something suspicious, it’s probably not the right product for you. Keep your eyes open, and your senses on you when shopping for CBD. And when you’re ready to buy something, be sure to check with CBD COP first to see if we’ve covered it.
If you want to request a review of a certain product, be sure to contact us. We’re happy to take a look and let you know what we can do.
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